This period Clontarf home has a stanley range - and apple, lilac, and hazel trees out the back
Period property was once home to a staff officer in the Royal Irish Constabulary
Dublin Castle was the headquarters of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) back in 1918, the year currently being commemorated under the Decade of Centenaries initiatiave. Unlike the gardai today, the force was fully armed and its constables wore army-style uniforms. They were also subject to regular military drill.
Dublin Castle HQ was run by the force's Inspector-General but its principal depot was in the Phoenix Park. The period from 1916 to 1922 was a dangerous one to be an RIC man and most lived collectively and in relative safety within a secure barracks.
Some who lived close enough to their Phoenix Park base, like staff officer James Joseph Moore, originally from Antrim, felt safe enough to live at home with their families. In his case, the 1911 Census records him at home with his family at 35 Hollybrook Road in Clontarf, Dublin 3. He must have had some interesting stories to tell when he came home from work of an evening.
Back then, Clontarf proved as attractive an address as it does today. It's close to the city centre, for one thing, so locals can walk or cycle to work and start their days oxygenated and full of vim and vigour. If the weather is inclement, there are plentiful bus routes and the DART line that runs along the coast (in 1918 there was a train) goes all the way from Howth and Malahide to the north, to Greystones to the south.
Number 35 Hollybrook Road is an attractive late Victorian/early Edwardian five-bedroom semi-detached house dating from around 1890, with a private west-facing rear garden. The current owners have lived here for 39 years.
The house has the high ceilings, generous room proportions, elegant receptions and decent-sized bedrooms you would expect from a property of this vintage, and has been extended sympathetically to include a sunroom.
The interior is rich in period detail, including ceiling coving and centre roses, fireplaces, and original doors and floorboards; it is evident the house has been well cared for.
To the left of the entrance hall are the two formal inter-connecting reception rooms, the drawing room to the front and the dining room to the rear. The original double doors remain, and when open they create a magnificent space for entertaining.
Down a few steps to the back of the house is the kitchen/living room, made cosy by a Stanley oil-fired range and fitted with units in French oak. A number of integrated appliances are included. The kitchen adjoins the sunroom, which has access to the back garden.
Upstairs there are five bedrooms - four doubles and a single - with a family bathroom and guest lavatory. The gardens to the front and back are nicely mature, with side access from the railed front garden to the rear. There's a large apple tree in the back garden that produces a harvest of sweet late-season fruit every second year, as well as laburnum, lilac, hazel and elder trees, shrubs, and an attractive paved sun terrace from which to enjoy them. Two substantial brick-built sheds provide plenty of storage and an outside loo.
Ask people who live in Clontarf what they love most about their area and many will tell you about the promenade, which lies at the end of Hollybrook Road and gets a huge amount of use from runners, cyclists and walkers.
They might also mention the Red Stables Food Market that runs every Saturday in St Anne's Park and is one of the best in Dublin. Located just off the park's main avenue, between the Rose Gardens and the children's playground, the Red Stables is a Victorian two-storey building which has been restored to include design studios, artist work spaces, a commercial gallery, café and courtyard area.
Formerly owned by the Guinness family, St Anne's estate was acquired by Dublin Corporation, now Dublin City Council, in the late 1930s and is a model of what a city park should be.
Amongst the artisan foods on offer at the Saturday market are hand-made chocolates, cheeses and preserves, organic bread, cakes and biscuits, toasted nuts and organic meat and vegetables, all of which go to ensure that locals are well-fed.
The café at The Red Stables is called Olive's Room, named after Lady Olive Ardilaun, the wife of Lord Ardilaun (Arthur Edward Guinness), one-time owner of the St Anne's Estate.
The food offering is focused on a seasonal menu that is both wholesome and delicious, not an easy thing to pull off, with much of the produce coming from the café's own allotment in the park.
The people behind Olive's Room, Liam Moloughney and Angela Ruttledge, also have the very good Moloughney's in Clontarf, down the road from Nolan's, which happens to be as good an independent supermarket as one could hope for.
Other places to eat in the vicinity include Fishbone, and The Baths, recently opened on the site of newly restored Clontarf Baths which are scheduled to open for swimming later this year. In the meantime, there is the 50m indoor pool at the Westwood gym down the road.
Lest one think that life in Clontarf is all about taking exercise and eating good food, the educational side is also taken care of with a wide variety of primary and secondary schools.
Also currently for sale in the area is 78 Hollybrook Road, a mid-terrace house described as a 'blank canvas' and priced at €695,000.
The most recent sale on the road reported on the Property Price Register was No 49 which sold for €1.16m earlier this year.
35 Hollybrook Road
Clontarf, Dublin 3
Asking price: €1.2m
Agent: DNG Fairview, (01) 8331802